Most pets need to be bathed, but not hamsters. Hamsters are rather unusual pets in that they can independently clean themselves.
They’re good at it, too!
They have their scent glands. Their scent glands produce oil that secretes across their entire bodies that does the job of grooming themselves.
If you are here right now because your hamster smells bad, it is most likely NOT because they need a bath.
This could mean something else.
Why is your hamster smelly?
Here is the thing: there is no room for bad odors in their bodies.
If your hammy stinks, it may be because of one or more of the following reasons:
a.) You let your hamster’s cage get dirty. You have got to make sure that the bad smell is not coming from their cage. It is common to have bedding around its cage’s corners.
Your hamster will surely appreciate it if you follow a list of grooming techniques and abiding by proper cage maintenance practices.
It is also best to clean its cage once or twice a week, depending on its size. You must be confident you are offering your hamster a nice, warm environment.
b.) Your hamster’s got food or poop stuck in its fur
Hamsters have a thing for keeping their food around their corners, so might as well check on that. It is also common to have their poop stuck with their furs, especially for long-haired breed hamsters.
When this happens, you could gently pick it with your fingers or use a toothbrush. This may also be a chance to check up on their bodies for tumors and abscesses, or if they are fine.
Keep an eye out for problems when grooming your pet.
Although if these methods do not seem effective and that odor is still there, you could use chinchilla sand.
Your hamster will roll over it that will cause the removal of that awful smell.
c.) Health complications
If you are already sure that the foul smell is not coming from your hamster’s external environment, this might be an internal problem, a serious health problem.
Are there any reasons for NOT giving your hamster a bath?
Bathing your hammy can be risky.
The list below answers the question, “What are the risks of giving my hamster a bath?”
• Hamsters are known for being territorial creatures.
• Hamsters know how to swim, but they do not want to. They dislike the water and are afraid of it.
• They might easily catch a serious cold. This is exactly the reason health professionals forbid bathing a hamster.
• Taking a bath might remove its essential oils necessary for them to be healthy.
• Bathing a hamster is life-threatening.
• A hamster can develop various diseases from a bath.
Should I never give my hamster a bath?
The only time a hamster should have anything near a bath is when a specialist recommends it or will do it himself. If your hamster comes into contact with toxic substances, this could be a rare exception, too.
Just make sure it’s warm out and your hamster will be quickly dried right after. But you must avoid this with everything in your power. You can try wiping the substance with a wet towel if it just seems minimal.
This is already biology speaking: you cannot bath your hamster. If you think it needs one, it is because it does not. A bath will just result in serious health complications, or even worse, death.
It is most important to keep track of the different external factors provided in this article to understand what your hamster truly needs.
Does it need to get rid of its poop stuck on his fur?
Or is it his spoiled food on the corner of its cage? They are the type to have this kind of habit.
Does it need you to clean its cage? If it is not one of these things, a veterinarian is probably just one call away and will be very glad to help you and your hamster.
A careful pet owner is a good pet owner. Surely, your hamster appreciates it you being here and taking precautionary measures.
It will serve your best interest if you make sure that your hamster is in an environment wherein he feels safe and loved. Because then again, hamsters are rather unusual, extraordinary pets.
Hamsters and Grooming
If you have had your pet hammy for a while, you might have noticed that it likes to groom by itself.
It keeps on pulling its fur, combing, and licking everywhere, even going behind the ears.
But after everything it does to itself, do you still need to groom it?
*Your Hamster’s Grooming Routine
It is a well-known fact that hamsters groom themselves.
In terms of cleanliness among animals, they are the same as cats.
You have noticed that your hamster always grooms itself, more often than you care to remember.
It is the reason why your hamster never needs to bathe in water, shampoo, or conditioner.
Have you noticed that there are no hamster shampoos sold in the market? Because they don’t need it.
They like to groom themselves, plain and simple.
Also, getting a hamster wet can be fatal since it leads to hypothermia or colds.
It likes to groom itself every two of its waking hours.
Yet you may ask, why do they do that?
*Why Hamsters need to be Always Clean
The main reason that they need to be always clean is to keep their predators away.
In the wild, they are the prey for many animals like snakes, owls, wild cats, and other predatory creatures.
Constant grooming loses its scent. Thus the predators would not be able to smell them.
They still carried this self-preservation instinct towards their domestication.
Their cleaning routine keeps them “invisible” to others.
They will groom themselves after any type of interaction, be it food, humans, and other animals, anything that can leave a stench on them.
Another reason is because of their original natural habitat in the wild.
Before they were domesticated, they used to live in intricate underground burrows. They always had twigs, debris, and muck stuck on their fur, and they often groom to get those away.
It grooms so it can function properly.
If your hamster stops grooming itself, then something is wrong.
*Sick Hamsters will Stop Grooming
Two things might be the reason.
First, the hamster might be old. Its brain functions are beginning to disintegrate, and can’t do usual hamster routines like self-cleaning.
Second, the hamster might be deathly ill. It could have an infection and is too sick and tired to clean itself.
Whenever this happens, consult your veterinarian.
*Health Issues if Your Hamster Stops Grooming
· Infections can be bad for your hamsters if it swallows the pus in teeth or cheek infections. Antibiotics can cure it.
· Parasites and mites can occur. Ask your veterinarian for the proper treatment.
· The fungus can develop from a dirty cage. Ringworms and Aspergillus can develop.
· Wet-tail can develop if the hamster is kept in a deplorable condition.
*Keep Your Hamster’s Living Conditions Clean
If the cage is clean, then the hamster will be clean. Fungus spores will grow from the hamster’s pee corner, and from that Aspergillus spores will appear.
If you often clean your hamster’s cage, then the fungus would not have a chance to develop.
Cleaning the cage once a week is mandatory. If more than one hamsters live in the cage, then clean it more often.
*Sand Bath and Beyond
Your hamster needs the sand bath, even though you may think it doesn’t. After all, it already grooms itself. Right?
The reason why your hamster needs the sand bath is to absorb excessive oils within their fur.
Your hamster’s fur has layers of oil that keeps it healthy and shiny. If the oil in it is too much, the hamster will look bad and also feel bad. The sand keeps the oil for the right amount in the fur, and also keeps it clean.
And your hamster loves it. It loves the grainy feel of the sand and looks to be deliriously happy, like a cat on catnip.
They rub the sand all over its little hamster body and roll around and around, as happy as a clam.
*What Kind of Sand?
Chinchilla sand is the best there is. However, not all pet shops have it. So before getting one for your hamster, do a bit of research first.
*How to Bath Your Hammy
You would not need to do it since it will bathe by itself. You only have to provide the sand.
You can put it in a shallow bowl or have a small space in the cage with sand on the surface.
Your hamster might do some insane digging, and the sand might get everywhere, even outside the cage. So always be aware of this.
Once you clean the cage once per week, also replace the sand. Your hamster will likely use it as a pooping station.